The Chairperson of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) Hajiya Sa’a Ibrahim has said that the broadcasting sector is operating under a very difficult condition since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Mrs Ibrahim, who doubled as the Director General of the Abubakar Rimi Television (ARTV) made the disclosure during a press briefing, held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre on Friday.
According to her, the broadcasting organisations has been finding it difficult to cop up with its financial obligations as a result of the pandemic which had crippled all economic activities in the Country.
She added that the situation had compelled BON to solicit for a total waiver to the broadcasting organisations, disclosing that the federal government granted its request but insisted on only 60 percent.
She explained that “the FG granted our demand but insisted on 60 percent and the broadcasting houses to pay for the remaining 40 percent.
” Even at that, BON is not satisfied until the waiver is accomplished 100 percent,” she said.
The Chairperson stated further that the efforts of the government was done in consideration of the role played by the broadcasting houses in providing employment opportunities to the teeming youths across the Country.
” The government had also made the waiver just to ensure that Nigerians working under the sector continue to be self-reliant not to eventually become a burden on it,” she said.
On the risk taken by journalists during the COVID -19 spread in the country, Mrs Ibrahim said “as professionals worth their onions, the press were solidly on ground risking their lives in gathering and disseminating information during the pandemic .
“Journalists also battled with lack of adequate PPEs which make their jobs tedious and very risky in terms of effective service delivery hence prone to being affected by the pandemic.
The BON Chairperson said her organisation is still waiting for the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, NBC to come up with a clear roadmap on digitalisation of all the broadcasting sector, noting that once that is done, there would be a switch-over of all the broadcasting stations to digital operations.
On the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) embarked opon by the organization said the CSR offered by BON run into billions hence cannot be simply put in Naira and Kobo citing jingles Dramatised jingles Talk shows among other for the taming of the COVID 19 in Nigeria.